Promoting Women’s Participation in Development – Media Meeting in Kabul

16.03.2018
Yesterday, the 16th Media Meeting took place in Kabul. Four experts and more than 50 journalists gathered at the Government Media and Information Center (GMIC). They discussed ways for the Afghan media to promote women’s inclusion in Afghanistan’s development process. The Afghan-German Cooperation and Mediothek Afghanistan hosted the event.

Mediothek’s coordinator in Kabul, Mr Mohammad Atif Faqirzada, welcomed the attendees and said, ‘Media meetings provide an excellent platform for discussing important topics that are barely visible in public or overshadowed by other news. Women in development is one of them.’

Four expert panellists presented their views and concluded that a more prominent role for women in Afghanistan’s development requires the media’s support. The Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Sayed Hussain Fazel Sancharaki, underlined, ‘The media should play a proactive and momentous role. Unfortunately, opportunities are not the same for women and men, even though they have the same abilities.’

Addressing women’s economic role, the Director of Afghan Women’s News Agency, Ms Humira Saqib, emphasised, ’The media should depict Afghan women as capable, talented, and economically independent.’ The Director of Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, Mr Sediqullah Tawidi, added, ‘Women’s role in development should go beyond symbolic participation.’

In this regard, the Deputy Programme Director of the Afghan-German Cooperation’s Open Policy Advisory Fund (OPAF), Mr Basir Atiqzai, commented, ‘We work to eliminate legal obstacles that stop women from engaging in economic activities. We support the Afghanistan National Priority Plan on Women’s Economic Empowerment that aims at strengthening economic development through female participation.’

The experts entered a lively discussion and answered questions from national and local TV, radio and newspaper outlets. Addressing the question of why there should be positive discrimination in favour of women, Mr Tawhidi answered, ‘The long-standing inequality in our country requires such positive discrimination for a period of time. I’m looking forward to the day when women do not need such support anymore.”

The 16th Media Meeting in Kabul showed that there is still a lot of work to do regarding women’s equal participation in Afghanistan’s development. However, it was an important milestone for defining the Afghan media’s role in promoting and facilitating the process.

Media Meetings are a series of regular events organised by the Afghan-German Cooperation in cooperation with journalist associations. These meetings bring together experts from the public sector, civil society, development organisations and media to discuss important development issues. So far, 15 meetings took place in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, Herat and Feyzabad. On average, about 80 media representatives participate in each session.

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